SWANA Life: Various Armenian Practices

On a recent trip to Armenia, I learned about various old magical/healing practices, sayings, tips, etc. — through local friends and family. I shared pieces of them on instagram (@29cents) and have consolidated a few here for those who are curious:

  • when a child was “taking too long to start talking” — you would take them to the center of an intersection and slap their mouth. It is meant to “open up” their tongue.
  • when it rains but it is still super sunny, they say it means the devil is beating his wife.
  • coffee cup reading tip: when you pick up someone’s cup to read it and the cup doesn’t lift up off the saucer (so, the saucer lifts with the cup attached) it means your fortune is *too good* to be told!
  • divination practice: candle wax reading! a bowel of water is held above someone’s head and candle wax is dripped into it, then the patterns are read.
  • if you’re having consistently bad dreams or after someone has died, you put a needly in your pillowcase — the needle pricks the bad dreams away or takes the evil into it from its sharp point.
  • fill a glass or bottle with flowing water (preferably from a river or stream) and break it on a sacred rock (in Armenia, they break it on a khatch-kar) — to release fear or anxiety.
  • when you have a bad dream, go to running water (preferably a river or stream but tap water will do, hah!) and tell your dream to the water… it’ll take it away from you, relieve you from it.
  • leave the light on in the house of the person who just died — for 40 days.
  • wash your hands when you get home from a funeral so you don’t break death back with you.
  • when someone knows you, but doesn’t recognize you immediately — they tell you that you have become wealthy or are about to become wealthy!

PS: pictured above is an a stone from Zorats Karer, also known as Karahunj, also known as the Armenian stonehenge. It is an ancient astrological observatory.

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